ANTH 3270 - Exploring Ancient Southeast Asia
Goals: To directly familiarize students with the evidence for the emergence and development of the prehistoric cultures of Mainland Southeast Asia by focusing on the rich archaeological record found in Thailand, Cambodia, and their neighbors. To acquaint students with the history and present-day conditions of the peoples of that area. Beginning with early sites such as Ban Chiang and the Pha Taem Rock Paintings site through later complex sites such as Phimai, Phanom Rung, Angkor, Sukhothai, and Ayutthaya, students have an opportunity to see firsthand the major archaeological sites that testify to the emergence of the varied ancient civilizations of Southeast Asia—ranging from the earliest village sites through the impressive architectural and hydraulic management legacies of Khmer domination, through the period when Thai civilization was born and came to politically and culturally dominate much of the Southeast Asian mainland.
Content: Using on-site visits to archaeological and historical sites, museums and modern indigenous communities, students become acquainted with the prehistory, history, and the rural to urban ethnographic spectrum of the cultures of Southeast Asia. Students are confronted by a variety of alternative explanations and issue oriented perspectives that deal specifically with Mainland Southeast Asian concerns.
Taught: Alternate years, winter term in Southeast Asia